iPhone 5S/SE grip style leather case (tuscanleathershop.com) review

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by Kukulcan, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. Kukulcan, Apr 12, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016

    Kukulcan macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2011
    I ordered this and an iPad Air grip style case and some asked for a review, which I hereby deliver for shop as well as case.

    The shop is obviously located in Tuscany/Italy and run by Nicola Meyer, who gladly answers your questions in the chat in acceptable English. The website, even if not bad looking is the main problem compared to sites like Vaja, as you don't really see all products in all leathers/colors which there are a multitude of. The product selection is puzzling, was not sure if I should order the 5S case with the 5S image or just one of those with iPhone 6 product images offering 5S in a dropdown.

    After some chatting I ordered a rather dark horse leather and asked Nicola to cut the leather from a rather "rugged" part with "character". In that regard I got what I wished for, the iPad case even offering more character than the iPhone 5S case. It took double the time stated on the website (6 instead of 3 days) but the express shipping was one day from Italy to Germany. Totally fine with that, faster than Vaja.


    Compared to the Vaja Grip the case is about 2mm thinner (if you care about front protection, add some tempered glass) making it look less bulky than the Vaja, which I like. The cutouts are pretty rough and compared to the product photo it has 2 seperated cutouts for volume/switch which makes it harder to use them. The general fit is very tight and I don't fear the phone could fall out.


    The leather is vegetable tanned and rather a little shiny, typical for italian leather with the typical smell you know from italian shoes. The texture is not as pronounced but the look and feel is very natural. I assume it will age nicely.


    The question is, why would you choose this over a Vaja or original Apple leather case

    Price: 35€ +VAT (in the EU, probably not US) + shipping (10€ express DHL shipping in the EU)
    Compared to roughly $100 for a Vaja Grip and whatever the price for the Apple case is

    Look and feel (and smell): Much more natural than Apple case, different than the Vaja leather - typical strong and nice smell

    Bulk: Closer to Apple leather case, which is good as I bought a small phone and don't want too much extra bulk.

    Functionality and quality of manufacturing: This is handmade and it shows. Less convenient and less professional looking than both Vaja and Apple.

    Service: Beside their website the service is extremely nice and actually what made me choose them over Vaja, who are still making great handmade stuff but lost all individuality.

    Yeah, that's it, if you want something individual at a fair price instead of a "mass product" this might be for you. That might include a certain amount of surprise what you actually get.
  2. Kukulcan, Apr 15, 2016
    Last edited: May 1, 2016

    Kukulcan thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2011
    So I just cut the volume cutouts to one big cutout like on the Vaja (plastic is stable but easy to cut) and that works much better. Nicola cuts them that way from now on.

    One thing I noticed. I can see every little scratch (must be from my fingernails) which is not unusual. But on the Vaja I use Wren's Dubbin (my leather care multi tool) and they disappear. Not so on the new one. That small scratch in the first picture (center lower half) is still visible after treating. I am not sure what to make of that. Might be because it is horse leather, might be the coloring not being deep enough.

    On the plus side, leather already starts to show some patina.

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